Beware the Fog!

Proving that his good attitude wasnít something he just slipped on for the Race, Jon answers our questions with great enthusiasm.

What attracted you to the show?
It was a reality show that the whole family could enjoy!

Whose idea was it to go on the race?
But now thinking back, disposable underwear, clever!
Did you watch previous seasons of the show and did you learn anything from watching previous racers?
I started watching half way through last season. My family and I really enjoyed the show, but at that time there wasnít even a thought in my mind that I would one day be on the show - so I wasnít really concentrating on learning anything that would help me be a good racer. But now thinking back, disposable underwear, clever!

Did you have any favorite teams, locations, tasks or moments from previous seasons?
Yeah, my family was rooting for John Vito & Jill!

What were your goals for the race?
To be competitive, have fun, and to win!

How did you prepare for it?
Well to be honest, I had no time to prepare. I was on tour with Ringling Bros, living in a motor home with my wife and three children, when Al sent me the TAR application. Just getting the application out on time was a task!

What was your reaction to your competition when you first saw them?
I thought they all would be just as competitive as us.

What was your favorite race moment that didn't make It to TV?
On a train in the, I think it was the third leg of the race, Russell and I set Al up to eat some cheese. Beside being afraid of heights, Al also has a very weak stomach! So not telling Al the cheese was Limburger cheese and Al being starving to death, he dove right into the cheese, taking a huge bite. The minute the cheese hit his taste buds he began turning green. He franticly stared scraping the cheese off his tongue, running to the bath room throwing up. It was all being filmed. It was so funny we were all cracking up, even Al. The best ten dollars on cheese I ever spent!

What was the most useful item in your backpack? The least useful?
The most useful were the tourist books we bought in each country; least useful were my sunglasses.

The race seems to be a unique balance of competition and life-experience. Which of those two items were more important to you going into the race? (for example, competition 80%, experience 20%)
I donít know. I didnít really think of that going into the race, but if asked then I guess I would have said 50/50.

Did the balance change during the race?
Maybe it went up to competition 60%, life 40%, but life-experience was very important. For example if you never experienced driving a stick shift, you would be in trouble!
It was very difficult to see friends leave, but it didnít affect our racing abilities.
It appears that the teams you were closest to were eliminated before you - was it difficult to lose your allies?
It was very difficult to see friends leave, but it didnít affect our racing abilities.

Were you aware of the other teams' flight plans out of Korea? If yes, why did you choose a different route?
No, nobody really knew each others plan, unless you saw each other. We were aware of the other flights leaving Korea, but the flight we chose was to get in Brisbane 1/2 hour before all others flights, so at that time we werenít concerned about which flight the other teams were going on. Not until the fog rolled in and the huge back up and delay with our flight did we start looking and thinking Ďwhich one did they get on?í The next one out was the one we were denied access on and that was the flight the remaining teams were on.

How scary was that under-the-ice swim? About how far did you have to swim?
It was real scary, I was so impressed with Al. Al had to swim 30 feet in that freezing ice water! And it was scary waiting for his body temperature to return to normal too.

When Phil told you that another team had been assessed a penalty in your final leg, did you think for a second that you were still in it?
Yes, most definitely. We really hustled and made up for a lot of lost time! So we really thought we had a chance.

What was your favorite task? Did you hear about any Fast Forwards that sounded like you might have wanted to do them?
Oh I have a lot of favorites, bungee jumping, snow rafting - I would have to name them all. I truly enjoyed each and every one! Seeing the fast forwards on T.V., I would have enjoyed all of them too!

What was the most unexpected aspect of the race?

Did you expect to be as popular as you've become? What did you expect people's reaction to be to your team?
I had no idea we would be so popular. I never even thought about what the peopleís reaction would be to us pre-race. The out-pour of love and support made loosing a lot easier! We definitely want to keep in touch with our fans so Al and I are developing a web site,
I donít really remember exactly what I listed, but Al is a whole lot tougher then I thought he was. He really pulled through on some tough, tough tasks. I am totally proud of him.
In your pre-race questionnaire, you were asked to list each other's strengths and weaknesses. Having gone through the race, would you change anything about those answers?
I donít really remember exactly what I listed, but Al is a whole lot tougher then I thought he was. He really pulled through on some tough, tough tasks. I am totally proud of him.

If you couldn't have run the race with each other, would you have not gone at all or asked someone else to try out with you?
I wouldnít have gone at all.

Which country would you most like to return to as tourists?
All of them! But my first stop would be Malaysia. The beach was beautiful. I brought some shells back for my children.

What have you been up to post race?
Iím back on tour with Ringling Bros. The season endís the 2nd week in November and I look forward to going back home to Long Island, New York.

What kind of impact has the race had on you?
It had a huge impact. I met and made incredible friends, experienced other cultures that pre-race I only read about, learned to get around the world (Iím so proud I can now book my self a flight any where!) and being a part of good family entertainment is an ďAmazingĒ feeling.

[Thanks to CBS's PR Department for arranging this interview.]